Hit with a bout lately of work leaving precious free time left to cook a nice tomato sauce from scratch, I happened on this bargain at the local San Francisco Trader Joe’s.
Their Recipe #99: Traditional Marinara Sauce jar of spaghetti sauce sells for a whopping, brace yourselves, 99 cents! Yes, that’s $0.99, less than $1 (without tax) and all that. You’ve got to appreciate how they’re able to do this, when probably the most expensive piece of this purchase is the glass jar.
I generally make a meat marinara sauce, and I usually don’t purchase the mass market spaghetti sauces as they always seem to have high levels of sugar and water in them. This seems to make the meat sauce a little too artificially sweet. When I heat the cheaper sauces, I swear I can see the thin layer of water separating from the rest of the tomato sauce. Reheating a sauce like that makes the water content even more noticeable. (Sure, if any part of your homemade pasta sauce is made with any pre-packaged ingredient, you may run into this too, but for some reason I still refuse to eat Ragu.)
Not so with Trader Joe’s 99-cent sauce. I used this as a base for a healthy ground turkey semi-healthy meat marinara sauce. Add some freshly chopped onions, a basil leaf or two, and some Italian seasonings and you’ve got a meal that also works well for bringing to work for lunch.